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Eschatology Issues XXXIII

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Question #1:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

Someone asked me today abut the breakdown for the "Seven eras of the Church Age". They asked me if the Seven eras are given in scripture, or did these church ages come from the historical records.

I could not recall where they came from; I have studied your work on these 7 eras and the year dates that you give for each church, but cannot remember where to find them so that I could give a specific answer to the question.

No rush on this, but as always, I appreciate your great help.

As always, may God give you an extra measure portion of Grace, peace and joy during this difficult time.

Your friend,

Response #1:

This is a question I get fairly often so I'm going to ask you to have a look at the links below. In a nutshell, this is an interpretation but one in which I fully believe. The book of Revelation is the Revelation of Christ and a gift from Him to the whole Church – not just to seven local churches. Also, there were many more churches than these in John's ambit at the time. Everything about the way these churches are described (as lampstands with stars / angels who administer them) bespeaks more than just seven local churches; they are thus uniquely chosen to represent the Church generally, and the descriptions do in fact tract the experience of the Church during the 2,000 years (Laodicea certainly fits like a glove). Here are the places where I discuss the details about all this:

The seven churches in CT 2A

Why Laodicea?  (note: keep reading after the first Q/A linked)

Computing the seven eras

Others compute the eras

Where does the 360 years come from?

Several questions on the eras

What church era are we in?

Keeping you and yours in my prayers daily, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Hello Bob,

I hope you are doing well, and have figured out the online writing tablet. I'm sure it is a mighty difficult challenge to teach a language over the computer. I also hope you are healthy!

At the start of your angelic pronouncements section in part 4 of the CT you state, "Prior to the commencement of the seven punitive "bowl judgments", God in His great mercy will give the unbelieving world one final chance to turn from its evil, and towards Him and salvation through Jesus Christ instead". Why then does the third angel warn against taking the mark of the beast? I thought that the mark was required to be taken at the commencement of the Great Tribulation not two and half years in?

In our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Response #2:

It's a fair point since, obviously, those already marked at this point will be beyond redemption. But the warning does come as Revelation says and no divine warning is without value. So the third angel's warning to the "the world" at Revelation 14:9 in this case would represent those who have not yet succumbed so as to take the mark but who are also not saved. Prior to Armageddon, moreover, there will be a big push no doubt to swell the armies of the world to overflowing so as to crush Israel – and being involved in that operation, marked or not, will also be fatal.

I'm getting better at the whole online teaching thing and learning something new every day, but it is much more time consuming and difficult that teaching face to face – and a lot less fun too. Sure hope this ends soon!

Stay healthy yourself, my friend!

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Dear Bob,

Thank you for your reassurance and explanation that "those who destroy the earth" in Revelation 11:18 are the not saved who persecute believers. As an English only reader, I didn't realize that. You also raised points I'd not considered before.

Environmentalism always struck me as yet another crazy religion - like climate change. They speak the words and little else. You and I must have come from a similar time and place. The mantra with which I was raised was, "Always leave [the outdoors] better than you found it." I must have carried out multiple pounds of wadded fishing line and spent shotgun hulls.

The times coming are frightening. I'm beginning to understand "sweet in the mouth and bitter in the belly." By your time line, we are seven years away from the start of the Tribulation and already, the world seems to have lost it's collective mind. What will the next seven years bring, I wonder?

Thanks, Bob, for being there and ministering as you do. And, thank you for your patience.

Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #3:

Good stuff here – I appreciate your perspective very much (it does seem pretty much identical to mine!).

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

That's exciting to hear you have BB 6B soon coming out [now out: link]. We will dig into it.

I've given so many people your web site but I don't think they are reading it. I've noticed most people don't want to do research themselves; they just want someone to tell them what you know. I'm not comfortable doing that; first of all I'm not a teacher and second of all even though I understand your writings it's almost impossible for me to explain what I believe and have knowledge of. Yip, not my gift and I'm okay with that.

It's been interesting watching everyone around here handle this flooding and losing there homes. The principal decided to have school today. I'm not sure his reasoning. Lots of kids gone due to lost homes or helping others. Teachers also. The governor declared for our county a state of emergency today. I was called into sub for a teacher who's son was injured in the mountains and had to stay the night in the wilderness until they could get a helicopter in (not related to the floods) They did get him out today and is in the hospital recovering.

After watching everyone react to this flooding I realize it's going to be way worse for those that don't find faith before the Tribulation begins. Right now the pain of this is very very temporary. There was a girl in school complaining they didn't have water to take a shower or flush the toilet. She was so devastated she acted like the world was ending.

I understand how things like this are devastating but it's very temporary. I can only imagine the attitudes during the Tribulation. I remember just a few years ago living in a 4x8 space with no job, a hurt husband, sometimes no water or sewer and 4ft of snow. Not to mention no one around that cared enough to help us find a home.

I do remember your friend. Where did they end up moving to? That's awesome he was out of there before the flood.

Well hope you're doing good today!

Response #4:

Sorry for the delay. Friday was the semi-annual honor society event, so a working evening (good students and some good friends, though, but I'm still behind as a result).

Yes, your experiences while hard to handle at the time unquestionably contributed to a clear-eyed view of the world and a superiority over the material things that rule most people's lives (Lk.12:15). God knows what He is doing – but He only does such things for those who truly love Him and so will benefit from the "training".

I'm happy to hear that you've been spared any direct troubles. My friend Curt and his family moved to a house that did NOT flood – and it seems to have been a blessing in many ways.  Bible Academy continues unhindered.

Thanks for your prayers! The insurance co. paid off for the tree removal and damage (mostly) so that problem is off the plate anyway. Busy week ahead here, but I'm only a couple of weeks away now from being able to work into a summer routine and try to get that "more stuff out" as promised.

Keeping you and the family in prayer daily.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Dr L,

How are you? It is summer! And way too hot to be outside. I seriously am spoiled by air conditioning.

Anyway, a while back you said something but I couldn't find it because I can't remember the exact wording-but you said something to the effect of that when God let Israel go without, it was only a short time for testing, almost like you were saying that He wouldn't deprive them too much for too long. And it bothered me a bit, but I didn't respond to that part. From my own background, on my own, I would have thought maybe He would have, even to the point of death, because of my own experiences as a child. I mean nothing against Him, it is wholly His prerogative to do so, or not. But it just went against my own knowledge. Unless it was different then because I wasn't a believer? Might that be it? I actually am not sure if I was a believer or not. Trying to survive day to day and lessen the inevitable punishments and pain kind of takes up a lot of attention (and therefore away from God), so He might not have considered me a believer then. Is that it?

Response #5:

I'm doing OK – hope you are too.

As to your question, it doesn't sound like something I'd ever say. Clearly, suffering is a part of the Christian life – sharing the sufferings of Christ. The Lord does make it bearable (even if it doesn't always seem so) and all tests come to an end eventually (1Cor.10:13); He also provides comfort for us in the Holy Spirit (2Cor.1:3-7); read what comes after this passage to see that comfort doesn't mean lack of pain and trouble in the meantime: even Paul found himself "despairing of life" (2Cor.1:8). We do know that our Lord is gracious and loving beyond our imagination. And most of us can look back in our lives and see many of cases where the Lord delivered us from pain, trouble, and horrible situations to bring us to where we are now. And that's true whether the "tribulation" we endured was totally our fault or not at all our fault or some combination of the two. He is faithful. He never lets us down. Our job, when we are under fire, is to remember that and hold onto that . . . until He comes to rescue us (which He always does). And also we need to remember that all this is temporary. Whatever we are suffering in the body, we have a new one in the heavens that will never know pain. If we are poor and oppressed we are rich in eternal rewards that can never be taken away. If we are experiencing trouble and tribulation, the day is coming when He will wipe away all of our tears, and we will know only blissful happiness forevermore. That is the hope we have been given which anchors us to heaven above (Heb.6:19). A hope that can never be broken and one which will soon come to pass, making all this "noise and churn" in the world absolutely nothing by comparison.

In joyful expectation of the return of our King and commencement of these blessings in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Hello sir. Been a while. How are you? I'm trusting the Lord you will finish your testimony on this earth before leaving and He will make all provision physically and spiritually available to you. Despite any and all affliction, He will effect a total deliverance. I have benefitted from your ministry in ways I cannot begin to tell you. I pray many others benefit till the last Saint is in!

I have been struggling to forget the past and keep pressing forward. I'm also coming out of my hiding place gradually. I'm hoping that all will be resolved in my favour and terminate this year. I feel my life is on hold till then. The Peter series is really helping me. I pray that I will also complete my testimony on earth before departure. I'm having more confidence in the Lord, depending more on Him and being more obedient, even though the harvest is ripe and I'm still far away!

Sir I want to ask a question: Why does Luke 17:26-30 sound like all will be well with economic thriving when Jesus comes back? Yet there will be a lot of devastation at that time due to the trumpet and vial judgments(Rev). How can I reconcile these passages?

Bob, is there a possibility of putting me in contact with someone in harmony with your ministry that I can have some fellowship with? Would love that if possible! Please I'm sorry to trouble you.

Looking forward to your response.

Your friend.

Response #6:

It's grand to hear from you, my friend. I have been praying for this too, namely, for deliverance from things. I understand how you feel – better than you know -- having been unwillingly involved in a number of such troubles here in the states in the past. That sort of thing is a huge drain.

On your question, the activities described in the passage you ask about are minimal, necessary, life-preserving things which will indeed continue during the Tribulation. Life went on during WWII even in the battle zones and even with massive loss of life in those environs. It has to, essential activities, that is, if a person wants to stay alive. So the Tribulation will be terrible, but it will still be life as usual – with an unusual layer of trouble that gets worse and worse.

I'm copying a good friend who might be able to point you in some constructive directions or otherwise be of some help.

How is your eschatology teaching going?

Thanks so much for all your good and encouraging words, my friend – and apologies for the brevity. It's late here at the end of the first day of classes for the year with lots of other complications (including a family visit) putting me way behind on everything and way low on energy.

Keeping you in my prayers nonetheless though!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Dear sir, thank you so much for your encouraging response. Our friend has actually gotten in touch with me. I've responded and waiting for his response. Thank you so much. I just want someone in harmony with Ichthys that we can have fellowship together with our families once a while.

My pastor wants to go on a Sabbatical leave (he is an Associate Prof in Engineering) soon and will get into eschatology then. After then is when he will give me the opportunity for teaching it.

The Lord continue to prosper you and your ministry sir. Remembering to pray for you more than before.

Your younger brother in Christ

Response #7:

I'm happy to hear that this is working out! I do have others in your country with whom I occasionally correspond, but I can vouch for our friend completely.

I'm also happy to hear that you will have such a wonderful opportunity coming up! I hope and pray you have the time and energy to hang in there with it. Sabbaticals last one semester in academia over here, so that is a nice long chunk of time. Hopefully you'll be able to prepare some in advance. Please feel free to use anything and everything at Ichthys as you see fit.

Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hi Bob,

You make me smile - when you said that as a teacher you're not the best "forehead-reader" - it took me a minute to get that one!

We've had a couple of frosts too that have hurt some of the flowers on the shrubs. But the weather here this week has been lovely. Blue sky and sunny. The forecast isn't so good for tomorrow which isn't so bad because it's my one day at work. We haven't been treating any patients for about two weeks now. Just taking phone calls and giving prescriptions where needed. The boss is allowing us to use the computer at work to do some of our yearly CPD which helps with the boredom. It's a blessing to still be getting paid. God is so good!

We found out yesterday that we haven't been chosen to be one of the urgent dental centres that are being set up around the country. My boss said that this "may be a blessing". It means that for now we still won't be treating patients but referring them to one of the dental centres if they need some emergency treatment. The centres will (or should) be given all the right PPE to treat the patients. So we did offer our services but didn't get chosen. Whatever way it worked out I love the Lord and I know He is always looking after me.

I'm really happy that your sprain is getting a bit better and you're able to do some jogging. I love getting out there and walking a few miles now my foot is better.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers, and thanks so much for yours too.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #8:

I'm actually relieved to hear that for the moment you're not being exposed – and yet you still have a job. God IS good!

Here in the states we've already got 22 million unemployed and many more on the way. That's 628 people whose lives have been ruined for every single individual who's died of the virus – or died WITH the virus (even those numbers are suspect). It's really difficult to comprehend the complete lack of perspective. Fear is the only thing that can explain it. This country used to be known for self-reliance and, to some extent, trusting God (it's our motto, after all). But it turns out that at present clinging to breath in this miserable world is SO precious that it's worth hiding under the bed until a person starves to death. At least that is what the higher ups think. But even though a lot of folks here are scarred, a good many – eventually I think a great many – are getting mad. If these politicians value their seats (literally as well as metaphorically), they'd best climb down from their horrible self-righteousness regarding this flu and their reaction to it and do so posthaste. End of sermon.

Blessedly, we know that we believers are kept safe from every deadly pestilence (Ps.91:1-7), and have nothing whatsoever to fear in this world (Heb.13:6). We have no power, no strength, and no personal means of protection against most things seen, let alone unseen. But we don't have to worry about that at all. Indeed, our Lord specifically commanded us NOT to worry. He will see us through. He always does. And He has given us individually many memorializations of that truth. Every believer I've ever talked to about the subject remembers times when the Lord saved them from all manner of disasters. The children of Israel saw that too – miraculously on so many occasions. But they did not mix those truths with faith (Heb.4:2).

Keep on being strong and courageous! And thanks so much as always for your encouraging words (and for your prayers).

Keeping you and your family in my prayers as well.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hi Bob,

I think you're right when you said that fear is the only thing that can explain the complete lack of perspective.

I read in the news about a dental nurse who contracted the virus and was in intensive care and she died a couple of days ago. She was exactly the same age as me. I'm truly sorry for all those who have lost their lives but I can read this and not be afraid. The Lord commands me NOT to worry and to trust in Him with all of my heart (Proverbs 3:5-6). The verses that you gave to me - Psalm 91:1-7 were the exact same ones I read as well and I nearly sent them to you too. I can rest knowing that the Lord is protecting me and providing for me and watching over me. (Psalm 121:1-8)

It's a difficult time for all of us but I know that this is an opportunity for my faith in the Lord to become even stronger and for me to draw even closer to Him and that's what we really need for the even harder times we have ahead of us. I'm so grateful to Him for this opportunity to grow and for His amazing love for us. Our Lord is beautiful.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #9:

Thanks for this. It's the right perspective! I suppose I can sound overly cranky about all this. One of my colleagues (she's older than I am) had her mother die of this bug, so it is a real problem. It's the mass hysteria, the violent overreaction, the group-think, and the willingness to disregard everyone's rights and general well-being because of it that is eye-opening. For all who imagined that antichrist couldn't possibly do what he's prophesied to do in such a short time, it's well to consider that all this is happening without the beast's direct involvement and without the removal of the Holy Spirit's restraint.

I can always count on you being "strong and courageous"! Thanks as always for setting a wonderful example.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers daily.

In Jesus Christ the One who delivers us from all troubles.

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hi Bob

I was thinking the same thing about self-righteousness and perspective. These people are so annoying with their screaming -- its going to be almost comical when the tribulation starts, and they start screaming "global warming" = judgements , "bigotry" = believers, "hate-speech" = Bible truth. It's so predictable.

I do have a question on this John verse though. Does "keeping My word" have a positive or negative meaning? I could take this verse as keeping My word as in a believer holding it fast to his heart or keeping My word with a negative connotation of remembering it and thus persecuting because of it. I believe Curt interprets the verse with the first meaning.

John 15:20 (NASB)
20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

In our Savior,

Response #10:

Predictable indeed! All too much so. Blessedly, the One who will refute all lies is coming soon.

“Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
Jude 1:14b-15 NKJV

As to your question, yes, it means to hold fast to and remember this important truth: we can't expect to be treated better than our Lord, not if we are following in His footsteps.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Dear Professor

A young Filipino nurse who worked at one of the two age care facilities in our town died early yesterday morning about 615 am. On her off day she had gone to a coastal southern suburb of Perth to be with her sister and aunty, over a 2 hour drive away from here. On the way back to here, apparently, she got a flat tire, changed it, and sped off to work. Her car left the road and crashed into a tree. The ambulance officers had to wait for the fire brigade to cut the car open to get her out. She boarded here in town with another Filipino family, whose daughter until recently, my wife used to work with. My wife however, only met her once at a fuel station. With the CV 19 lockdown, the young woman’s family, including her parents in the Philippines, cannot come here to be at her funeral.

It may seem to some that death is just random, yet we know our Lord has everything worked out perfectly (I am thinking of many who have survived crashes - however not usually at considerable speed and into a tree). In my own life, I am thankful that of the numerous times death gaped it’s mouth wide open at me, our Lord spared me. I am certain many can also thank our Lord for similar deliverances, giving us a chance to repent and turn to the Lord Jesus. Of course, some do not seem to respond positively, yet the Lord is good nevertheless.

Last night I had a conversation on __ - I was on video - but he did not turn his on - keeping his exact whereabouts a secret. I had an uphill trek promoting faith in our Lord Jesus. He came up with similar stuff to the gardener - especially that everyone believes their belief is correct, and the “when you are dead, you are dead and gone - no one has ever come back from the dead to prove to him otherwise, and other written works claim they have the answer, e.g., re-incarnations until we get it right” ; however the covid 19 did give me a very small opportunity to talk about what is to come, (he’ll wait to see if anything happens in 7 years- another family member has previously said the same), but I said you need to prepare spiritually now to be able to endure.

He knows another “nutter like me”, a mormon who has some strange views (even criticising the mormon leadership and saying that they will be prosecuted as criminals in the near future - yet the ‘nutter” refuses to leave the mormon church). Also why is the gospel “so tricky”. Each has different interpretations of the same passages of scripture. Why is it made so “tricky”. Me: It is not tricky for those who really want the truth. That is why Jesus spoke in parables, to sort out the sheep from the goats. I certainly want as many as possible of my family with me and our Lord in eternity. Give Ichthys a fair hearing. He might have a look. (This was the gist of a longer conversation)

Thank you, dear Sir, for the bountiful hope you inspire with your teaching of the Bible.
I am so grateful for this hope and enlightenment you provide with your methodical explanations of these scriptures. We are all extremely indebted to you for your diligence in doing our Lord’s work.

I concede I haven’t given you the break you deserve. Just wanted to share this update with you. I find that when I do this, it also prompts me in the Spirit, to improve my own walk with our Lord. Please do not feel obliged to answer this email - much of the “theme” is the same, just inching along (sounds better than millimetering along) ever so slowly.

I hope you are getting some relief from the intense schedule you have. Keeping you in my prayers.

Your student and friend in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Response #11:

I always appreciate hearing from you, my friend.

Indeed, those who belong to the Lord can be confident that if He does take us home, it will be at the right time. Until then . . .

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Psalm 91:5-7 NKJV

No need for us to hide under the bed. For us, to live is all about Jesus Christ, and to die is gain (Phil.1:21). He has given us deliverances from death in the past also to encourage us in the face of such terrors, for we know He is the One who shields and delivers us no matter what.

I'm continuing to keep your family (and you) in my daily prayers, my friend.

Thank you for your obvious love for the truth and for our Lord who is the only Truth.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Dear Professor,

Yes indeed - I find a little bit of a laugh does relieve the tension and “things said in jest are often the truth”.

In NSW, a jogger who stopped to buy a kebab and then sat down to eat it on a park bench, was baled up by the police and fined $1000. At a TV press briefing the Premier of Western Australia, when asked to comment, and in the effort to suppress his laughter, “lost it” and couldn’t speak for quite a time. In the end he had to laugh at the absurdity of the police action (and by association the NSW government laws), in order to release his voice. “They do some things differently in NSW”, he said. Some things can only be “understood” by laughter. He displayed in public what the populace were afraid to voice in private.

I am sorry to hear about your back problems and pray you will recover fully. Also that your University teaching favorably resolves the present uncertainty for you.

Not much validity in my saying to keeping your activities to the scope of folk of our age bracket. Yesterday I got on top of a truck roof via a sloping step ladder to wash the roof of the bus parked alongside. In the previous days I have been catching up on big jobs that needed doing, climbing up trees in order to prune them. Via these fun activities my arms, shoulders, back and all, complain quite a lot nowadays.

As you can see, I do not have a question here, so please, definitely no need for a reply.

Keep it easy.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Response #12:

That must be the most expensive sandwich in history! I can only remember being that hungry once, coming off the trail on Isle Royal without having taken proper supplies; a twenty-five cent at the time half gallon of milk was the best thing I've ever drunk in my life.

Thanks for your prayers, my friend.

Speaking of numbers, 646,000 annual deaths worldwide from falls – WAY more dangerous than CV. So be careful on the roof!

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Howdy professor,

I am praying for you and your students. God has gotten us through to this point and will carry us the rest of the way. I keep thinking of all the times I freaked out before and they are over now, and it wasn't that bad, and this time will soon be like that.

I saw this 'journalist' say they had their mask from months ago, and persons on twitter pulled up their article that us (peasants) don't need masks. It is morally disgusting. You just can't trust what these news-people tell you. Only the most bare basics, like there is a virus, but not the rest. Sigh.

I am trying to read ICHTHYS and the Bible and pray and act so that I will be ready. I am concerned I will fail like Israel did (as you mentioned) whether by knowing choice, or having misunderstood and misapplied some truth accidentally.

Anyway, take care,

Response #13:

It certainly is difficult to watch "the news" and "maintain an even strain". To be honest, I even take the basic "factual" details with a large grain of salt. I have too much life-experience not to understand that even when media is not operating out of bias, their diligence in getting facts right leaves much to be desired. You really do have to "read between the lines" to have much of a clue from reports.

Thanks so much for your prayers! I'm sure my students do need them too. Difficult enough to be disciplined about coming to class and studying Latin and Greek when things are "normal"; doing this under the circumstances is no doubt proving a huge challenge for the ones who are pulling it off. From some situations I know about (i.e., students who have to share connections and so the bandwidth isn't enough not to keep crashing them out when they do e-attend; others who don't have the equipment; others who are having to work difficult jobs to get their families through this, etc., etc.), I'm trying to be careful not judge the ones I don't know about. I'm just grateful that there ARE classes of a sort (some universities cancelled the semester), and that even students who can't make it can attend later (when I don't forget to turn on the "record" function -- which has to be done each and every time manually).

I'm thrilled to hear about your great application, my friend! There's nothing better than the Word of God. If you stick close to the Lord through the truth, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. The children of Israel failed because they failed to enter God's rest: "the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it" (Heb.4:2 NKJV).

Hope you've had a blessed Easter.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Dear Professor,

Good afternoon Sir. Happy Easter!

I can’t begin to imagine how happy the disciples must have been on this day.

I would have asked how you are coping in these times but I’ve seen your responses on the email postings. Thank God for providing for you and I keep praying that for believers who lack any physical thing. Our Lord will provide and keep them strong in him. For unbelievers, my hope is that this situation gives them the time to think and seeing our helplessness as humans strengthens them to acknowledge Our Savior. So far, people seem to be moving even farther away from believing and even believers are jumping on all kinds of theories and explanations.

Thank you for all you do. You are in my prayers everyday and I literally can’t seem to get enough of Ichthys. Thank you Sir.

Have a blessed day today.

Response #14:

Wonderful to hear from you, and thanks so much for your Easter greeting! Wishing you and yours a blessed one as well.

Yes, in case you missed any, here are all of the ones that apply:

Eschatology Issues XXIX

Eschatology Issues XXX

Eschatology Issues XXXI

Eschatology Issues XXXII

Thanks also for your good and insightful words. We will just have to wait and see what the result of all this is in spiritual terms. The majority always seem to go the wrong way, but it certainly is possible that these dislocations will bring a few to the Lord and cause a few lazy believers to get serious about the truth. That is certainly my hope and my prayer! So whatever the evil one is trying to do, we know that our precious Lord is the One who is really in charge, working all things out together for the good for us who love Him, regardless of how things may look on the surface.

Keeping you and your fiancé and your families in my prayers daily.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hi Bob,

Hoping your holding up and going for some nice strolls in good ol Kentucky.

Revelation 2:17 (NASB)
17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

Why does nobody know the person's name in the New Heavens and New Earth except the person who receives the name?

Also this virus is having some seriously positive effects on those on the fence. One of my ex-frat bros who I gave the gospel to texted me that he is getting into the Bible during the time off a day or two ago. I read your post and saw some positive war stories, like the highest traffic EVER on Ichthys, congratulations! This virus might be idiotic in worldly terms but the hysteria may actually be producing some positive effects on those who feel hesitant about going all in on satan's lies.

In Jesus our Savior,

Response #15:

My reading of "no one knows" is along the lines of "no one can really fully understand and appreciate" except the one who receives it, since our new name will reflect perfectly our lives in this world and our response to the Lord. So I don't expect that the name itself will be hidden but rather that my new name will mean a lot more to me than to you and vice versa.

Yes, I am deeply grateful for all the good that is and may be coming out of all this. But I'm still praying for it to be all over with sooner rather than later.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hi Bob,

I don't have a lot of faith that this will be wrapped up in short order although I could be wrong. I have a feeling this is going to drag on for quite a while with perhaps a second wave of illness coming at some point. As Trump said though, the cure can't be worse than the virus. America seems to be as divided as it's been in my lifetime, at least since the Vietnam War.

I haven't read nearly as many history books as you have. I was always under the impression that a high ranking officer disobeyed an order but the end result was successful, that he might get clemency but perhaps I am wrong. Most of the books I have read were about the Civil War, WW2 and Vietnam. I do remember watching a documentary about Custer (American Experience) A couple days prior to Little Bighorn Major Reno came upon a trail that was clearly left by Native Americans and he decided not to pursue it. Custer was disgusted that Reno did not break orders and go after the Natives. I would assume had he done this though he would have had to deal with General Terry who outranked Custer. That whole period in American history is interesting but it's also really sad, what was done to the Native people in my opinion was shameful.

What you wrote here [SR 4: "Strangers in the devil's realm" link] is one of the most useful things I've read in many years. I did read this part of your website back in 2010 or 2011 but I clearly needed to hear that again. The Holy Spirit is working through you! For whatever reason that makes these attacks much easier to deal with As a child I was bullied a lot by family members and again at school. As a result I find that I'm more sensitive than I really need to be as an older adult. I take things way too personally.

As believers in Christ, followers of Christ, ambassadors for Christ, indeed "members of Christ's household" (as the name Christian indicates), we need to understand that the resistance, attacks and persecution we receive from our adversary the devil are not personal, any more than enemy artillery fire on a strictly human battlefield is meant for any one soldier in particular.

Stay well my friend!

In Jesus Christ,

Response #16:

Thanks for your good words, my friend! I'm certainly praying for a quick resolution to all this, but we'll just have to wait and see. No one is calling asking for my opinion (no doubt a good thing).

A lot of good people were subjected to abuse of one sort or another in their past – I would say close to half of the individuals I get close to through the website talk about it. But God is good and faithful and He always delivers us in the end.

Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend.

Happy Easter!

Bob L.

Question #17:

Dear Professor

All this stems from your teachings. The “other side” of things is also from your teachings. In my few conversations with others that I have now-a (corona-virus) -days, other believers see it quite similarly.

The reactions of people and the government here is really in line with your teachings on what is to occur once the Tribulation begins. This is why I feel we have been given this insight into the Tribulation to come - particularly the preparatory phase - all be it, what we have now is the Sunday picnic version. The trends and rapid rate of changes, even daily or hourly pronouncements we need to comply with, differently from the moment before , so the need to stay tuned to the leader, and ready to jump this way, then that way. Great ‘training” for all!

Especially when I was a kid, Sunday was a day of rest and recuperation, we loved it - then came Monday, the reality of the work week hit home - the picnic is over! Same at this time - let us “enjoy” our picnic preview version where we can partake freely of all the good teachings of truth of Jesus Christ and our redemption in Him. Feast freely now as once the daily grind begins we may have scant opportunity ever again (in this life). Let’s us preview in relative ease, what is to follow shortly. Be prepared; as Jesus has told us all things ahead of time.

There seems to be parallels with your Tribulation teachings and our minor picnic preview now.

1. Panic buying, and “scarcity” caused by this - government steps in - regulates movement, behavior, “rationing” how much of item you can buy (for the greater good), prints money, looks after millions of people who have lost their jobs - BUT sorry, we “need” to select losers too, so some are left out of the cash splash (for the greater “good” we need to draw a line somewhere). Perhaps the left outs are a lesser breed with lesser need? This line will be exploited, come the real thing! Getting us accustomed to the concept; now, again - we know it has all happened before (e.g. persecution of Jews). Just this much already sounds much like what you describe will happen - all be it with a much more oppressive reality to come. Such as the rationing, also “for the greater good” (of antichrist’s war effort).

2. Fear. Same as #1 really. I notice the PM’s popularity here soared way above usual - we need a strong leader to bring us through. The billions of dollars to prop up most of the jobless was miraculously created with the printer. Wow! We have not seen magic like this in our country before - at least not me. Truly global problems will “require” global leadership - not just national. (This is not to disparage what the PM has done in what I hope is in good faith - I am not a mind reader - but to show that the future reality is reflected in the picnic version - that there “must” be losers - magic money can only be produced for the correct category of humans. He does have a religious faith (Hill Song Church), and Christians I associate with thank God that we have a Christian leader. What is to be noticed, is that the “secular” opposition (there are many different beliefs - Christian and non Christian, in the opposition parties) are advocating that we are ALL one category of human, deserving to eat and shelter as well.

3. Preparation for this global “leader” to “save us”.

I do encourage reading or rereading the Coming Tribulation series at Ichthys - perhaps with an eye to seeing how our current Sunday “picnic” version in many ways intimates what is to come Monday morning. Things will appear as they are not in actual fact - beware of what appears to be “for” us - even a religious leader to come - a savior - but really wants to eventually ensure ALL are losers.

Let’s all enjoy our “Sunday” feasting on the Word of God, prayer and living what we learn through the Spirit, and helping each other all to be winners.

I am so thankful for you, Dr Luginbill providing your gracious Ministry that illuminates the truth of what is now previewing mildly and what surely will happen robustly come “Monday”.

In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Your student and friend

Response #17:

Thanks for this, my friend.

I know I don't have to tell you of all people that association with Hill Song Church isn't much of an encouragement (based upon what I have heard about this new denomination over the past few years). It's always hard to tell about politicians in any case (or, rather, it's usually pretty easy to tell that it would be hard to prove they're really born again). The ones who claim "faith" have an obvious incentive to do so, after all. I still remember my dad being incensed about one fellow (don't even remember his name or face) who joined our church and used the association to get some promotion then quickly evaporated. Same cut of cloth (not evaluating your guy as we don't get much about Aussie politics over here).

Good points, my friend! I've been thinking of these two passages lately:

The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left. The new wine dries up and the vine withers; all the merrymakers groan. The joyful timbrels are stilled, the noise of the revelers has stopped, the joyful harp is silent. No longer do they drink wine with a song; the beer is bitter to its drinkers. The ruined city lies desolate; the entrance to every house is barred. In the streets they cry out for wine; all joy turns to gloom, all joyful sounds are banished from the earth. The city is left in ruins, its gate is battered to pieces.
Isaiah 24:5-12 NIV

Come, my people, enter your chambers,
And shut your doors behind you;
Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment,
Until the indignation is past.
For behold, the LORD comes out of His place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
The earth will also disclose her blood,
And will no more cover her slain.
Isaiah 26:20-21 NKJV

Of course there are some differences between these Tribulation passages and today – plenty of beer and wine consumption at present (in fact it's up over 50% here in the states), and this is more us doing it to ourselves (or our leaders with the help of the media) than anything attributable directly to divine agency. Still, the Lord is letting this all happen for a reason. It certainly is a wake-up call to make the best possible use of the rest of this seven year period before things get really challenging.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Dr. Luginbill,

I thought you might be interested in a program I just finished writing. It calculates how many English first name/last name combinations result in 666. The results using transliteration:
classical Greek = 2,933,645
modern Greek = 1,397,483

I'm sure it is far more accurate to transliterate a name with actual knowledge of Greek, but the numbers might be in the right ballpark. I used a list of the 6,782 most common first names, and a list of the 151,671 most common surnames. I wasn't able to account for w's or h's, and I'm not sure how often that matters. Regardless of the lack of accuracy I can confirm that it is impossible to figure out who the beast is before the fact!

I used this website to transliterate the names: https://stevemorse.org/greek/eng2grk.html

I tried to calculate how many permutations of letters add up to 666, but my computer ran out of memory fast. The number is finite, but very very large.

I know this exercise doesn't have much value, but at it gave me an idea of what we'll be working with. If you have any questions I'd be glad to answer them.

Best regards,

Response #18:

Thanks for your help! I do think this exercise demonstrates that it really is pointless to be doing number crunching on particular individuals and finding it significant if some variation of their name comes to six hundred and sixty six via some system of letter/number analysis (Greek, Hebrew, Latin – with sub-variations in them all because of differences in transliteration etc.). Believers who are paying attention will likely be in no doubt who antichrist is, right from the start of the Tribulation, but this litmus test is for everyone else, graciously given just at the time when the marking of the beast becomes the basis for the Great Persecution at the commencement of the Great Tribulation.

Happy 4th!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

Been looking at Daniel chapter 8 because of a video I reviewed.

This is what the speaker says.

1. 4 times Gabriel tell Daniel that these things (in Dan. 8) refer to the "time of the end".
2. At the "time of the end" Iran will invade the middle east.
3. Turkey will respond, but the leader dies and Turkey is broken into 4 divisions.
4. Out of 1 of these divisions will come the a/c.
5. He also stated that Greece was split into about 25 pieces, and it was not until some years later that 2 or three were formed from this kingdom of Alexandria.

That is not how I understand this chapter.

I know that you probably have a study on this chapter, and if so, could you direct me to the study.

Also, can you briefly provide your thoughts and interpretation of this Chapter.

Thanks so much again, and again,

May He Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life bless you above measure.

Your friend,

Response #19:

No, that's NOT how I understand it either. The eschatological part of Daniel chapter eight has to do with the little horn, speaking eschatologically of antichrist. The other parts of the chapter have already been fulfilled. The goat is Greece under Alexander (who did unify Greece); he destroys the ram (the Persian empire); the splitting into four also happened after Alexander's death. This is all significant for eschatology because one of the four kingdoms of the Diadochi (as Alexander's successors are called) was the Seleucid empire (Syria), and one of the kings of that empire, Antiochus Epiphanes, is a type of the beast (this is all discussed at the prior link and also at various places in CT 3B).

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Robert,

Under God’s direction the Temple is build (1 Chron. 28:6, 10) and also rebuild (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4). Other than these direct commands to build and rebuild the temple, no such a command is given to rebuild the ‘third temple’? However, there are allusions to an eschatological temple (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 11:2; Acts 17:24 etc.).

My question: Is it possible that the Lord allows for the (3rd) temple to be built due to their (Jews) unfaithfulness / rejection of the Messiah (1 Cor. 10:4; 1 Peter 2:4 refers), to fulfill prophecy regarding the revealing of the anti-christ (2 Thess. 2:4). A further purpose would be to fulfill the ‘kingdom of God’ as Jewish rule with Christ in the millennium, where their function will be priestly and holy (1 Peter 2:9).

Jesus reflects on the destruction of the buildings (includes the Temple destruction AD70, barely a few years after completion), as per Matt. 24:1-2. Christ is to be the new temple made without hands (John 2:19, 21), as His body we worship in spirit and truth (1 Cor. 3:16-17).

Is there a direct command in Scripture to build a third Temple?

Yeshua, salvation from Father,

Response #20:

Good to hear from you, my friend.

Here's what I read in scripture:

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4 NKJV

Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
Revelation 11:1-3 NKJV

Both of these passages present the temple as being THE temple of God, not some faux-temple which God does not recognize as a temple. Also, when the beast takes up residence in the temple in the first passage and kills the two witnesses in the context of the second, this is very much an appropriation of the precinct of God. The first two temples were constructed at the express command of God and according to His specifications. I find no indication about that the third will be different in that respect. My studies tell me – as the second passage indicates – that the construction of the third temple will be directed by the two witnesses (see the link for more on these two). Scripture doesn't provide the command but the two witnesses are coming directly from heaven so no doubt immediately upon their arrival have already been given their very precise "marching orders" for directing the Jewish revival with the 144,000 – and for the rebuilding of the temple. That is probably another good indication that the third temple is not to be and will not be built by unbelieving Jews BEFORE the Tribulation begins.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:


Your assessment and study regarding the reflection / interpretation of Scripture makes sense, in a positive way. Having both Elijah and Moses involved with the eschatological temple is an acceptable deduction.

This actually invoked another thought, which you could clarify. If Enoch is not a part of the 'kingdom of God' scenario during the tribulation, and I accept! What then is the purpose for Enoch's 'rapture' (Gen. 5:24) and God took him? An inference which I want to deduct: Could he not represent the 'body of Christ' as a foreshadow of those who would be taken away (1 Cor. 15:51-53) refers.

Immanuel our dear Lord and Savior,

Response #21:

It's a worthy observation. There is certainly a parallel there. Enoch for me represents the truth that for someone who really loves the Lord, being with Him is far better than hundreds more year on this earth, even if that is what other godly persons receive. By accomplishing this without physical death, the Lord makes that point all the more clear.  Please also read the link:  "The Two Witnesses"

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Hi Bob,

Just a quick update. I was just re-reading through the Chronological Timeline article since making the changes you’ve recommended and I noticed a sentence just a little further on from that paragraph, (page 3) which possibly relates to that paragraph and I’m wondering if perhaps your ichthys reader or yourself had missed this sentence. I’m not sure if the sentence is correct or wrong so I’ll write it here for you and if anything needs changing, please tell me how to adjust it and I will make the necessary correction. The last thing I want is to cause confusion to any and all readers.

The 7 Trumpet Judgements are seen in a vision by John, which follows the ½ hour of silence and begins around the halfway point of the first half, i.e. 21 months after the signing of the covenant and each one has a specific time-frame.

Again, hoping not to cause any inconvenience Bob and as always, with brotherly love,

Response #22:

The half hour of silence occurs BEFORE the Tribulation – just before. It is that last reprieve – before the Tribulation starts – which moves the cycle from spring to fall. Our Lord was crucified in the spring, but the Tribulation begins in the fall (so that the second advent / Day of Atonement comes in the fall seven years later); if there were no half hour, the Tribulation ought to have started in spring of 2026; as it is, we'll have an extra six months.

Always great to hear from you, my friend!

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Please answer a question for me, I'm having a crisis of faith right now and it has to do because of the dates of origin of Adam and Eve until now. You had mentioned that the 6000 years would come approximately 2033, correct, give or take 2 or 3 years (I even read what was recorded as a prophecy of Barnabas tho I know you don't believe in prophesy but its said that he said in 6000 years the Lord would be finished with this world) which makes sense on so many different levels but there are those who claim that dating back to Adam gives us 7500 plus years, so that would kind of throw the whole concept off of Gods 1000 year reign giving us 7000 years, a perfect number depicting completion, so on and so on..I'm just wondering where and how you got your dates. There has been some debate over the years according to the Septuagint and according to the Hebrew scholars who kept time by a different calender...please let me know as soon as you find time, thank you so much.

Response #23:

Good to hear from you again.

I certainly do believe in prophecy – there a great deal of that in the Bible. If you mean the gift of prophecy, that was a temporary spiritual gift, like tongues, given in the early days of the Church Age to aid in the period of transition when as yet no New Testament had been written and distributed. If anyone is making prophesies today, or in the case of any outside the Bible prophecies, they would only be correct by accident. It would be prudent to pay them no mind and have nothing to do with people who recommend them.

As to the divine calendar for human history, all of these details are written up at the following link: "Specific Chronology of the Seven Days". If you read down (or scroll down – but it will make more sense if you read the whole thing), you will get to the details on "The Jewish Age", then "The Age of the Gentiles". To make this more understandable, I have started at the birth of Christ and worked backward to the garden of Eden based upon the scriptures which give this chronological information. I'm happy to explain anything here that's confusing.

This piece (and this section) talks about calendars (that can be found elsewhere on the site), but I wouldn't put any stock in the traditional Jewish calendar (it's off by hundreds of years and actually only goes back to the middle ages), and the issues with the A.D./B.C. calendar are not significant enough to make any large difference. The Septuagint is of very little value when it comes to issues such as this – or any textual issues for that matter. It was translated by individuals whose grasp of the Hebrew was far from perfect, and has itself a very vexed textual history.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #24:

Dear Professor

I am behind as well on most fronts, however, still blessed by the goodness of our dear Lord. As I said to one of my sons school friends who is an army cadet and wants to be an officer in the tank corps or something like that; we are in the final 7 “good” years before the Tribulation begins. I said to make sure he was not at Armageddon as the result is too horrible to contemplate. I don’t know if he had ever even given it a thought before now. I did mention the positives of the military as far as trades and learning are concerned.

No need to reply. I am just keeping you up to date.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student and friend

Response #24:

I certainly agree that knowing how close we are to the Tribulation means thinking differently about many things. On the other hand, I usually advise people to live life walking with the Lord one day at a time, and to make decisions as if either this was the last day or a person had fifty more years to live just the same way. We're all going to have to make adjustments if we are here when the Tribulation begins – many of which at present we have no idea whatsoever.

The military does present an interesting challenge here, however, inasmuch as believers who find themselves therein – or in any arm of the government – will have some difficult choices to make if still in service when antichrist takes over the government.

Thanks for all you do, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

p.s., I survived my first day of the fall semester – students were attentive; we'll see tomorrow whether the first day blush has already worn off.

Question #25:

Hello Bob,

[question about marriage on the eve of the Tribulation] I'm not sure how likely a making a happy Christian marriage is given the times we are living in and where we are in history.

I know the Bible says, woe to women who give suck in those days. Would it mean now or during tribulation? I do feel that God is weighing on me to move on.

Please pray for me. I want to be a good witness to Jesus even though I myself am struggling.

In our Lord and Saviour,

Response #25:

I'm already praying for you and will continue to do so and for your situation too of course.

We all need to put the Lord first, and when we do it very often causes divisions as what is becoming more and more important to us becomes increasingly obvious as less so to many of those around us. However, everyone needs some personal support and encouragement – regardless of the times – and I know that the Lord has this for you too. We do need to be patient (it's a trap to rush after this group or that group or whatever or whomever), but God is 100% faithful. So keep trusting Him and He will work all this out for the good. We don't see the "how" yet, but we know with the confidence that comes from faith that this is the truth.

This concern you raise about the times is a common one for good Christians who really accept the truth of what the scriptures say about the end times. I always try to make it a point to tell folks to live their lives one day at a time as unto the Lord, and to do what they believe is right for them regardless of the point we may be at in the "eschatological clock". That is what I believe scripture guides us to do.

I promise to keep you in prayer on this all the way, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:


I have a question regarding some things you said about our behavior during the Tribulation:

"We have had occasion to note many times in the past that making material preparations for the Tribulation is a fool's errand because we cannot anticipate the precise course of events or the details of the crises with which we will have to cope during those distressing times ahead.”

"Stockpiling and the like is also a waste of our time, energy and resources now which are better spent in pursuing the perfection of our Christian walk and making every effort to maximize personal spiritual readiness.”

"Perhaps the most serious problems with a survivalist approach are that 1) it predisposes those so involved against the very real possibility (50/50 for those who stay faithful and refuse to apostatize) that the Lord has marked us out for martyrdom; and perhaps even more importantly 2) it contributes to entirely the wrong mind-set: such preparations by their very nature incline toward selfishness and self-preservation. Those of us who are truly following Jesus now should instead make it part of our life's purpose to prepare not only to be spiritually able to endure what is to come but also to be ready to help our less prudent brothers and sisters in Christ through the storm ahead as well.”

"Without question, continuing to seek out substantive Bible teaching, continuing to walk the way Christ would have us walk, and continuing to help our fellow Christians as we minister God's grace through whatever spiritual gifts we have been given will not be without risk during the Tribulation, and the concomitant activities they entail will no doubt run entirely counter to the "safe" course and will most certainly be inimical to the "survival" approach.”

Now there are more quotes of you somewhat frowning upon physical preparation & a “resistance group”. While I do agree that spiritual preparation (faith, perseverance, & objective mindset) are without a doubt the most important, but it seems you are contrasting God’s will with preparing physically which makes little sense to me. Isn’t it possible for God to call specific people to do something or prepare physically? Also preparing could be for the sake of others.

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;”
Acts 2:17

After all, Noah did prepare physically by building the Ark but it was through the will of God. So isn’t this a possibility?

"The fact of world-wide satanic control with no safe-haven will mean that for any idea of a "resistance movement" in particular there will be no comparable prior experience to use as a model. In the past, individuals who were opposed to national religious policies were able to flee to sympathetic countries or to uninhabited quadrants of the globe – or at least to make common cause with a large plurality of their fellow countrymen (with usually some region of a polity experiencing religious revolution holding to the previous views and being willing to defend them)."

So I think a resistance movement is simply inevitable if there will be any believers resisting the Mark of the Beast. We don’t need prior experience in order to resist evil. We just need God’s guidance. Realistically, it’s hardly likely that there will be no location where believers will be safe at any point in time. Spiritual preparation could lead to physical preparation & that physical preparation could be many of the things you are telling people to avoid. God decides who is marked for martyrdom. That does not in any way suggest that self-defense is against God’s will. God may call people to defend themselves so that they can continue His work even if they’re marked for martyrdom. God may call people to communicate to others about the false teachings, the anti-christ, and the mark. That could be in person, that could be through technology (podcast, YouTube, television, etc.). I would not rule them out.

Of course, especially during the Great Tribulation, the world will be controlled by evil. Though God can work in wonderful & mysterious ways. I do not think physical preparation would lead to failure for the simple fact God can call us to physically prepare. The idea of sitting there & behaving like everything is okay before the Tribulation is nothing but one option that God could call some or most people to do. In reality physically doing nothing & not preparing at all is bad advice especially when you’re making it out to be objective or the only option. God uses people. God can use people to provide shelter & food for believers. I see no place in scripture where it says this isn’t possible. If Noah simply kept praying & growing in faith while ignoring God's instruction to physically prepare & build the Ark, then he could’ve been killed as well. A lot of the time, if not most of the time, spiritual growth leads to physical action. Believing in the truth, then living the truth.

So I was wondering what your thoughts are on this. Perhaps I just misunderstood something. If that’s the case then I apologize in advance. I have had some dreams that are very prophetic that I had before I started really digging into the Tribulation. I’m currently 19 years old & I believe through prayer that God has called me to do a bit of physical preparation as far as my occupation. It started with me finally humbling myself & asking Him what His will is. Immediately he told me & I felt his presence. It was so overwhelming I cried twice (and I usually NEVER cry). Of course I hadn’t even considered the option He told me to pursue.

By 2026 I would be 25/26 years old. As a side question can you explain what Jesus meant when he said nobody would know the day or hour?

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only”
Matthew 24:36

It seems 2026 could most likely be the year. If I’m correct a day biblically is a year literally, right? So is Jesus referring to the Tribulation? If so is 2026 not likely since you, I, and some others believe to think this to be the year?

Thanks for taking the time & God bless,

Response #26:

Good to make your acquaintance.

You raise a number of questions and issues here, all of which I will try to deal with in one way or another in my response, but do please feel free to write back if you feel I've missed anything.

First, "no one knows the day or the hour" is literal. Sometimes in prophetic contexts days equal years; more often they do not. Context determines interpretation. Hours are much less likely to be "not literal hours", and I know of no place in scripture where "day and hour" are combined and mean something other than what they seem on their face to mean: a literal day and hour. For more on this see the link (which will lead to others):  "The Day and the Hour".

On resistance, if one's country is invaded by Nazi or Communist armies, e.g., it is likely that the country will resist and that therefore it will not only be right but also probably incumbent upon citizens to support that resistance. If someone breaks down your door with malicious intent in the middle of the night, resistance is also not only just but actually recommended in my opinion (cf. Ex.22:2). But what if the source of trouble is the state itself in which one lives? Scripture is more than clear about that (Rom.13:1-7; 1Pet.2:13-17; cf. Tit.3:1-2; n.b., passages written by two men persecuted and executed by the same state they say to respect), and we have enough examples from the Bible to see how believers who were so affected in the past comported themselves. Joseph did not attempt to escape from prison. John and Peter refused to obey the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:19), but they did not take up arms against it; rather they endured the punishment it meted out (Acts 5:40-42); Daniel prayed when ordered not to do so, and did not resist being thrown into the lions' den, innocent though he was. The 144,000 will be martyred without any indication of resistance on their part (Rev.14:1ff.). In fact, I can't think of any biblical parallel that would support the notion that armed resistance to one's own government on the part of Christians would be legitimate.

Whatever one thinks of the American Revolution, this also does not offer a good parallel because the colonies' representative governments themselves were the ones who organized the resistance and were "the state" in terms of the allegiance of the people from its inception; but, in the case of any resistance to antichrist, believers who might decide to undertake it would be so far in the minority as to have no legitimacy on that basis whatsoever. Martyrs and potential martyrs do resist in the sense of refusing to take the mark, refusing to worship the beast, and being willing to suffer death rather than to do so; but I see no indication from scripture that God would smile on any such person meeting the official police force at the door with gunfire, e.g. I think any suggestion that such behavior would be in any way godly is spiritually dangerous in the extreme. The exodus is the model for the Tribulation, and therein it was God who protected and delivered the children of Israel at every point. When Moses relied on God, the Lord wrought a great deliverance through him; when previously he had relied on his own strength and murdered the Egyptian taskmaster, he suffered forty years of exile as a result.

Finally, in terms of preparation, first of all I don't think that there can be any serious argument about the fact that spiritual preparation is superior to material preparation. Regardless of how we view the latter, the former is a "force multiplier" which makes everything a believer does better and better informed. God is with the believer who is walking with Him; those who are only tangentially Christian are on much shakier ground, even if they have an arsenal and pallets of canned goods in the cellar. God can do anything. We are more limited than we have any idea [n.b., as the present corona virus is making clear at time of posting].

Secondly, it is also beyond argument that those who focus on and thus more and more rely on what they personally are doing of necessity tend to rely on and trust less and less in God. That is a human constant. That this is the case our Lord affirmed when He told us that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Why? Because Christ did not die for the rich man too? Of course He did. But those who have the means of this world inevitably rely on those means, while those who do not can more easily trust the Lord to supply what they need. This would be true in the Tribulation as well (and in looking forward to it) for all those who are counting on their preparations to see them through – they will necessarily be looking less and less to the Lord to see them through (cf. Lk.21:36).

Thirdly, those who have made extensive material preparations to "get through" the Tribulation will be much more likely to fall away into apostasy than those who have not. Why? First, because of the issues above causing them to have not as much trust in the Lord as they otherwise might have had, had they put the emphasis on spiritual preparation (the thing that will really be essential in the Tribulation); second, because if and when things do not go according to their plan they will be greatly disoriented and emotionally shocked and disappointed, and therefore greatly vulnerable to falling away (cf. Matt.13:21; Mk.4:17; Lk.8:13). And things never go according to plan.

What if a man stocked his cellar with ten years of food, but had to move away suddenly because of one of the prophesied environmental catastrophes? Or what if mobs assaulted his house because of that very stockpile? Or what if the beast's forces seized it? Or what if it all went bad or was ruined because of other unforeseen conditions? A person might think of dozens of possible problems and take measures to ward some of them off – but there will always be more that can't be foreseen or forestalled. You may respond that God will take care of that. To which I say, God will indeed "take care of ALL that" – for those who are walking close to the Lord, whether or not they have stocked the cellar. For those who are not under the Lord's protection, nothing will keep them safe in the end. Now I'm not saying that "preppers" cannot be under the Lord's protection; but I am saying that if they have materially prepped to the harm of spiritual preparation they will likely bear very hard the loss of their materials if things don't follow their hoped for plan – and that is something more likely to happen than not. So if a person is going to "prep" materially, even greater care really needs to be taken for this not to become an idol and a stumbling block to him.

As to Noah, if the Lord tells you personally to do something, you should do it. The ark was not Noah's idea. The Lord Himself gave him specific plans and instructions as well as unique supernatural help to carry out the plan.

In terms of spreading the Word of God during the Tribulation, I am all for keeping an open mind about that – and a ready heart for it. For while it is true that in the nighttime no one can work (Jn.9:4), I have often opined that the great majority of Laodicean believers who enter the Tribulation completely unprepared spiritually will certainly need a "crash course" in every aspect of the truth. Here too, however, spiritual preparation recommends itself, because only spiritually prepared people who are well versed in the truth will be in any position to help those who are not.

So spiritual preparation is most definitely not "sitting around and not doing anything". Rather, it is doing everything . . . everything that the Lord requires us to do.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #27:

Mr. Luginbill,

So from what I’ve gathered is physical preparation is justified if God commands it of you or if it doesn’t circumvent spiritual preparation. It also seems I perceived the meaning behind “resistence” differently relative to yourself. Ecclesiastes 3:8 says there is “a time to love, and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” You said: "In fact, I can't think of any biblical parallel that would support the notion that armed resistance to the government on the part of Christians would be legitimate.” There is a list of warfare in the Bible. God commanded Saul to kill the Amalekites. List goes on: https://constantlyreforming.wordpress.com/every-battle-in-the-bible/. God is versatile in essence and in the commands he gives people. "Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,” - Revelations 13:7. In order for there to be a war (πόλεμον = A war, battle, strife.) there needs to be two forces colliding. While defeat may be inevitable, in general terms, I don’t find it unlikely nor sinful to defend oneself during this time. By no means am I encouraging believers to raid locations or meet in a battlefield. I am simply stating that self defense doesn’t show a lack of faith in God anymore than going to a grocery store for food does. If anything I thank God for the opportunity to have access to a store. Furthermore God might call someone to do something involving armed conflict to invest in His master plan. He has before.

Have you read The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)?
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

I think we should expect to prepare physically under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is clear God will bless us if we have faith and seek Him, but it won’t stop there. We will have to put in work as well. Not saying preparing spiritually isn’t work, but God can bless us with a tool we can use to nourish others during the Tribulation. Just like how the master gave the servant 5 talents and the servant brought him 5 more. However the servant who just gave the talent back to the master was deemed wicked and slothful. Why? Because he did not put in the effort that the other two servants did. He did not… wait for it… produce. The second servant given 2 talents was able to produce 2 more talents. “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” I believe Jesus’ parable will hold true before & during the Tribulation. God will indeed do His part and not forsake us. He will give us what we need; however, if there is no WILL then all of it will be taken away. Those who have the intestinal fortitude and mental/spiritual calluses will have an abundance.

It is unwise to frown upon physical preparation because it is by physical means that we will either live or die during the Tribulation. It is by spiritual means will we live for eternity or come face to face with the second death. Spiritual and physical will inevitably overlap. Whether we like it or not we live in a physical world. We need to accept that and take advantage of it. Say someone has the spiritual preparation to believe that God will provide for them. Say that same person is waiting on food & shelter because they were taught to disregard such things before the Tribulation in order to have complete faith in God. If only the person knew God provided a means of getting food before the Tribulation, but they were too ignorant to seek it. They had no will to seek it. They would rather wait thus The Parable of the Talents holds true. He provided but the person did not produce/act and “even what he has will be taken away”. This means no more food or shelter because you have to attain the Mark of the Beast in order to buy/sell and thus that very moment puts that person at risk of eternal damnation.

I say this to state you should encourage more physical preparation and make it clear (as you already have) that spiritual preparation comes first. Simply living like everything is fine & dandy until the Tribulation occurs is the worst idea. Even if you can’t bring all of the food you prepared with you, some is better than none. You should encourage people to seek those talents or else they’ll end up with nothing. If you have to abandon a shelter so be it. Better safe than sorry. It’s not like you wasted money given the fact it will be of no use later. Preparing a shelter does not imply the person is lacking in faith. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” - Matthew 7:7. Prayer is powerful. This right here, "Stockpiling and the like is also a waste of our time, energy and resources now which are better spent in pursuing the perfection of our Christian walk and making every effort to maximize personal spiritual readiness.” shouldn’t be the message. God could and most likely will call people to do those things. Now if someone is called to do that what do you think they’ll think when they read that? Now all of a sudden somebody is confused. Now all of a sudden that person may or may not prepare like the Spirit asked them to and they become like the last servant with the single talent. This is better: "Stockpiling and the like could be useful and productive especially if God calls you to do it; however, it is essential to remember our walk in Christ is the most important due to the fact it will be the key to salvation and eternal life.”

You see? Even if someone is marked for martyrdom that doesn’t mean preparing physically and valuing their life beforehand is against God’s plan. There could be a very specific situation where God might call someone to go somewhere armed and free a specific believer from bondage. The point is we don’t KNOW. Being spiritually prepared means being prepared to do anything physical during or before the Tribulation. There are billions of people. With billions of specific situations for everyone during that time. If God can mark believers to die in faith then why can’t he mark believers to stockpile in faith? Why can’t he mark believers to defend in faith? It’s all relative. Revelations and scripture on the End Times speak in general terms. We don’t know the specifications on how everything will transpire.

So I’ll finish with this. My whole point here is to encourage you to be more mindful of what you’re calling a waste of time because it is not you that decides that. There is no point in history like the days to come. Given the fact God can call people to do a variety of things we should encourage believers to be prepared to do a variety of things including stockpiling. I’ll reiterate that spiritual preparation is most important, but that can lead to physical preparation which could include stockpiling or even obtaining a weapon for self defense. I don’t want fellow believers to close their mind to stockpiling because that could be dangerous. Rather, they should open their mind to whatever God calls them to do.

Take care friend,

Response #27:

1) "God commanded Saul to kill the Amalekites": a) Saul was "the Lord's anointed", king over the nation state of Israel; all nation states have the right to defend themselves against enemies; b) God gave this as a direct verbal order; c) the Amalekites were a different people – not the policeman who might even be your next-door neighbor; d) self-defense is using force when the state is not around to protect you against those who are violating the law; self-defense is NOT using force against the state when you don't agree with its policies. So you are dangerously confusing a number of issues here. You don't have the right from God to shoot up a police station now because you don't like some law, e.g.; what makes you think you'll have that right when antichrist takes over?

2) The parable of the talents has nothing to do with self-defense; it also has nothing to do with making provision for one's personal survival in hard times; this parable is all about doing what God wants us to do with the resources He's given us. Scripture is very clear that our Lord wants us to grow, to progress in our walk with Him, and to help others through the ministering of our gifts. Worrying about what we are going to eat in the Tribulation is precisely the sort of thing our Lord warned us against (Matt.6:25-34).

3) "It is unwise to frown upon physical preparation because it is by physical means that we will either live or die during the Tribulation". I'm not sure where to begin with this one. Did you actually read my prior response? Did the children of Israel "live or die" during the exodus because of their preparations? Far from it. God provided them with everything they needed. And yet they died in the desert. Why? Because they didn't have manna from heaven and water from the Rock and everything else they needed for physical sustenance? No. Because they failed spiritually. If a person fails spiritually in the Tribulation, it will mean apostasy, taking the mark of the beast, and damnation. If a believer were to – theoretically – starve during the Tribulation, but held onto faith because of spiritual preparation, that death would mean nothing in the end as he/she would be resurrected along with the rest of us. So which is more important? If your physical preparations cause you to be like the exodus generation of little to no faith, then you have made a very bad bargain indeed. But will we starve to death if we don't get worried about all this (which our Lord told us not to do)? No.

The LORD knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.
They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,
And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
Psalm 37:18-19 NKJV

Either you believe scripture or you don't. Either you trust the Lord or you don't. Either you obey the Lord or you don't.

During the Tribulation, the entire world will follow the beast (Rev.13:8). No place will be safe. No cellar secure. No preparations enduring – except what you are storing in your heart.

In Jesus Christ,

Bob L.


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